Nice to visit but not a great place to live
Our family moved to Medford in early 2017 and we cannot wait to leave.
Every summer since we arrived has been filled with oppressive and persistent smoke to the point that we have to wear respirators if we want to go outdoors without risking our health. We apparently get an inversion layer over the valley that traps the smoke in. Air quality monitors during these seasons are often well over hazardous levels. Sometimes the smoke lasts for weeks or longer at a time; then when we do get a reprieve, it is only a temporary one before the wind shifts and it settles back in. Even with the best air filters and aircon filters, you can still smell the smoke in the house and it causes symptoms for all of us in our household. As avid gardeners and outdoorsy people, the inability to enjoy the outdoors all summer and often into the fall is horrid.
With all the local hemp farms, it always smells like skunks in the otherwise pretty fall evenings now - another thing that puts a damper on our ability to enjoy being outside.
The air quality is also poor in winter according to air quality monitors.
The continually rising property costs do not reflect the increasing lack of livability in this area. I would never recommend that anyone purchase property here.
Libraries and quality of education are much poorer than what I was accustomed to in our old hometown.
Violence and property crime seem to have dramatically gone up since we have been here. We also have a major problem with illegal pot farms and the crime that brings. The houseless population has also increased in recent years.
Availability of normal things you might take for granted in other states is subpar here. Many normal things are simply not stocked even in local big box stores (or are supposed to be stocked in that there is a place on the shelf for them but it just remains empty for weeks and weeks on end) and must be ordered online instead. Selections are more limited than they are elsewhere.
Our mail system seems to take twice as long or more than what we were accustomed to in our old home state for incoming mail (outgoing seems to be at a fairly “normal” pace), which means you have to plan ahead more. You get used to this after awhile but it can still be frustrating sometimes. This is not just a pandemic issue. We noticed it when we first arrived in the area.
There is a noticeable lack of diversity.
The positives: there is a great community of lavender farms, organic farms, farmers markets, vineyards, etc. here. Local events hosted by them can be a lot of fun and getting to know the people who grow your food is awesome!
The Medford Food Co-Op and Ashland Food Co-Op are awesome (fantastic quality of produce and product selection; wonderful employees) and we also have a Natural Grocers here, so if you are used to having access to a Whole Foods or Mother’s Market or the like, you will not have trouble finding good sources of organic / natural foods. We also have a Trader Joe’s if that is more your thing. If you are close to town, grocery delivery is varied and accessible via Instacart (though more expensive) and curbside pickup is readily available at some stores (Target, Albertsons, etc.).
When the weather is nice, it’s beautiful here and there are so many lovely areas to explore. The table rocks quickly became one of my favorite locations but I also love some of the more mountainous areas and the local rivers / creeks.
Most people are generally friendly.
There’s a great yarn shop in Ashland and there are some local clubs / guilds / community groups that offer opportunities to connect with people with similar interests. There is an awesome pottery show / market in non-cov years.
Unfortunately, the downsides of the area far outweigh the positives for us and I would not want to raise children here. We don’t plan to stay in the area.
Em | Coto de Caza, CA